Societys Demonstrations of Systemic Racism

Systemic racism, defined by Joe Fagin and Sean Elias, is “a social theory of race and racism that sheds light on the foundational, encompassing and enduring structures, mechanisms, and operations of racial oppression.” (Feigin and Elias 3). In American Sonnets for My Past and Future Killer, by Terrence Hayes, he sheds light on these social stereotypes that African Americans are forced to face in everyday life. Hayes demonstrates systemic racism through areas such as local, historical and political models of the United States.

Hayes’s ultimate goal is to show the unfair flaws that African Americans have in society and the ongoing conflict with the American government.

Hayes speaks of many examples of systemic racism that an African American may be exposed to in certain places; this includes negative stereotypes that can rob a person of talents and create false accusations. One example of local racism is Hayes’s statement: “There was an African American male screening for a ladies night in a nightclub.

There was a male survey of African American through suits in offices, courts and waiting rooms ”(7).

Hayes’ statement, when referring to the “men’s survey of African Americans,” demonstrates society’s ongoing judgment and observation of African Americans in a more localized scenario. The quote also shows how African Americans may be treated differently by softening it with Hayes’s next statement: “Using suits in offices, courts and waiting rooms.” The quote eludes law enforcement to claim “lawsuits in offices” and how they mishandle African Americans due to constant criminalization followed by “courts and waiting rooms”.

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This entire statement is an allusion to the justice system with reference to the court and shows how African Americans can treat the system unfairly when they commit a crime. Hayes also addresses another local issue when talking about African American contemporary music, Hayes. states, “African American contemporary music can start, almost casually, breathing out n-words. Yes, even the most refined hallucination traveling the alleyways of America may find its tongue curling inward ”(15).

The quote demonstrates the use of pronouncing the word n ​​in music and states how this turned into a “spectacled hallucination”; this metaphor is used to show how people voluntarily turn a blind eye to the word “n” in pop culture. Хейс также критикует слово «ниггер» и заявляет, что это относительно то же самое, что и n-слово, он заявляет: «Стало грустнее, когда черный человек говорит Nigga Потому что это звучит как Nigger». (44).

The quote reveals the frustration and emotion Hayes has towards African Americans who use the word, as he feels that using it will dilute the meaning of the n-word shown by his next quote: “No word leaves me more favorable to shame.” 44).

Haye’s sonnets ultimately demonstrate the local racism that African Americans can go through; and as a result it is linked to systemic racism through court harassment. Hayes also demonstrates the use of the n-word and sheds light on the basics of the word through social norms and music.

One of Hayes’s ultimate goals is to shed light on the conflict between African American society and the American government. For example, Hayes states, “Aren’t you the color of the current threat of recommendation to this country?” (ten). Hayes reveals the point of view of African American society by talking about “threat warnings”, showing that they are the same color. the person in the office does not change the actions of others; this also applies to the writers Feigin and Elias, who argue that there is a one-sided emphasis on the meaning of race (Feigin and Elias 15).

Feigin and Elias describe racial difficulties as a problem of color blindness, when people become too blind to racial issues to become racist themselves; this is a correlation with Hayes’s reference to the recommendation because the government has become too color-blind to ignore the racist actions they might be doing. Another example of conflict between the American government and the African American community is Hayes’ statement: “Maxine Waters, fiery, wielding a sword in the shape of a silver tongue. American as Consciousness ”(23).

The quote speaks of Maxine Waters, Waters being mentioned because of her constant struggle with the American government and, more importantly, with Donald Trump. Maxine Waters is an African American representative of the United States who is not afraid to voice her opinion on certain topics, she is an activist of the African American society; this is why Hayes uses it in his sonnet and describes it as “fire” and “sword.” One of the most famous fights that Waters has fought is between her and Donald Trump, she refuted many of Trump’s words and attacked him for the many racist acts he has committed over the years.

Hayes’s book contains many references to American President Donald Trump, he attacks him for his constant racism, not only against African Americans, but also other non-white nationalities. For example, Hayes declares, “Damn it, this is what it means to have a leader — you despise,” the racists used to say when an African American was president, and I’ll be damned if I don’t say I am too. ”(38)

The quote represents Donald Trump when it comes to “the leader.” and attacks him for the racist remarks he made in the past when Barack Obama was president. Donald Trump is a consistent racist who denies his actions as racist, Hayes knows this is a well-known fact and uses Trump as an example to demonstrate systematic racism at the government level. Sonnet attacks Donald Trump for his constant defense of the opinion that he is allowed to say racist things about Mexicans because he has Mexican friends and family. Hayes accuses Donald Trump of lying about his friends and family, who are Mexicans, and suggests that even if he has family and friends who are Mexicans, they will not be friendly to him due to his racist nature.

In conclusion, Terrence Hayes’s American Sonnets for My Past and Future Killer sheds light on many of the problems society faces when it comes to systemic racism. Hayes does an excellent job of exposing systemic racism in areas such as local, historical, and political patterns in the United States. Hayes sheds light on the many public figures who either fight racism like Maxine Waters or demonstrate racism like Donald J. Trump, he also shows many examples of racism that have been widely accepted by society and informs the audience that this racism still to be condemned. The poem also demonstrates a good understanding of the struggles that African Americans must go through in society, and shows how Hayes is trying to help.

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Societys Demonstrations of Systemic Racism. (2019, Nov 25). Retrieved from

Societys Demonstrations of Systemic Racism
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